Check out the list of performers and repertoire, plus text and translation, for this online presentation.
Arthur Kaptainis, Ludwig Van Toronto. The 140-strong Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, on stage rather than in the loft, could hardly have failed to make an impact throughout the hall in the great climaxes, including the high-altitude fugue. These choristers know the music and love it. Strings in the instrumental fugue reminded of us of the calibre of playing we have become accustomed to during the Oundjian years.
David Richards, Toronto Concert Reviews. Not many people get a goodbye celebration at Roy Thomson Hall. Such was the case last night for Peter Oundjian with the hall filled to the choir lofts with an adoring public including the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell (Lieutenant Governor of Ontario), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian ended his remarkable fourteen years at the orchestra's helm as the TSO closed out its 2017/18 season. The sustained standing ovation by the sold-out hall was just the beginning of the show of love and appreciation for the music he has given and for what he has done for the orchestra, the city and the province.
Leslie Barcza, Barczablog. We heard Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The piece is ideal for this sort of occasion, an instant happening. For three movements the orchestra plays while a crowd of brooding faces watch and listen from the stage. It was almost like three different symphonies, totally unlike one another, each in the presence of the 150 formally attired singers of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, waiting their turn. The dissonance that opens the last movement might almost sum up the shock we feel when oh my they’re standing up, perfectly synchronized. Something is going to happen! Of course it won’t be a surprise when they also sing in perfect synchronization.
Arthur Kaptainis, National Post: This was an energetic finale, vital in rhythm and full of spirit. The 130-plus singers of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir were scattered democratically in the choir loft rather than partitioned into sections. They made a joyous, united sound. Nor was there any price in clarity in the double fugue. Maybe this unusual configuration has a future.
Michael Johnson, Concertonet Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis doesn’t come around often enough, a fact that prevents it from becoming stale – and all the more reason to welcome it when it does get programmed. This was the final program this season presented under the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s own auspices, which I suspect is why the full...
Every season the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir undertakes a Big One, or even a Really Big One, such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, presented Wednesday evening in Koerner Hall under the baton of Noel Edison. It was a clear-headed and articulate performance that lacked something in Missa Solemnity.
It is notoriously difficult to perform. Which is why we should thank conductor Noel Edison, his Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Festival Orchestra, for having the courage to mount this important, if rarely heard, work. And by and large, on Wednesday evening the group of hundreds of musicians and singers acquitted themselves quite well.
When you come right down to it, Beethoven didn’t compose a lot of choral music. There are three early works - the under-rated Mass in C, the rarely-performed oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives and the Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra, Op. 80. Of course, there are choruses in the opera Fidelio before his last two choral masterpieces - the finale to the Symphony No. 9, and the great Missa Solemnis.